Will Liverpool’s Spurs defeat be Arsenal’s 8-2 to United?

Date published: Friday 27th October 2017 3:10

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The Carabao Cup draw
Does it really take that long just to make sure all the big clubs avoid each other??


Being knocked out of the Carabou Cup in the first round is not much to boast about for a Liverpool fan.

That said, let’s call a spade a spade here; the next best thing to winning it, is losing in the earliest possible round.

Sad, but true.


Reading the comments under your article on the league cup draw, there are the predictable protestations. “FIX!” they cry out, interpreting the fact that all the top teams have been kept apart as a sign that the draw is rigged.

This is an example of the phenomenon known as ‘confirmation bias.’ This is where people conveniently forget all the instances that don’t match up with their world view but when they see something that does, they use it as evidence of their argument. They are forgetting that in the past 6 seasons the following teams have reached the league cup semi finals:

Sheffield united
West Ham
Crystal Palace

I won’t list the countless instances of the top teams playing each other before the semi finals. They are also conveniently forgotten by our conspiracy theorists.

In fact it’s not even that unlikely that the draw took place the way it did. If we call the ‘top sides’ A sides and the rest B sides, imagine the draw as this:

Let’s say an A comes out the draw first. They have 7 possible opponents.

Probability of A v A is 3/7
Probability of A v B is 4/7

Then a B comes out 3rd. They have 5 possible opponents.

Probability of B v B is 2/5
Probability of B v A is 3/5

And so on. So stop the conspiracy theories, take off the tin foil hats and just enjoy the football.

(Also does anyone think the FA are remotely competent enough to pull off a rigged draw?)
Mike, LFC, Dubai


Positive Liverpool thoughts
I have tried to stay away from the mailbox this week ( what a difficult thing to impose on myself! ).I knew it would not be a good place after my reds lost embarrassingly to the Spuds.Well here are my thoughts the thoughts that i use to comfort myself.

1. In a year’s time, we will all remember this game as the game which convinced Herr Klopp to finally buy defenders.I mean, surely now he knows Lovren and Migs are not Liverpool standard players.Remember Arsenal’s 8-2 spanking at Old Trafford? Wenger finally went out to panic buy players soon after that game.
2. Hendo is a good solid player but, a defensive midfielder he is not! Surely Klopp saw that.I mean if i can see it then Klopp already knows , right?? Enter William Calvhalio .
3. Man U will suffer the same fate this weekend.
4.The only way is up.

Dominic  (  I also kept telling everyone we should have stuck with Rodgers)


‘Bottling’ Spurs is b****cks
I think GM, Spurs may have accidentally hit the nail on the head when discussing our wretched Cup record against other big teams.

GM said he didn’t think we rest more players in Cups than our rivals – which I agree with – but I wonder if the issue over that nine/ten year period is that the quality of backup players taking their place hasn’t been great. We’ve had some good first XIs at times, but some really woeful backups (even up to last season), especially when compared to the other big boys.

Hopefully switching Janssen for Llorente, Wimmer for Sanchez and the progress of Winks/return of Lamela etc will mitigate that as we have a stronger squad overall, although the West Ham game doesn’t exactly back that up.

I’ll caveat all this by saying I’ve not looked back at our lineups from those cup games and my memory is rubbish. So it might just be that half of those were our first team choking against big teams in the cups, and all the above is bollocks. I’m sure you’ll get sent other theories though.
Johio (Ohio Joe to you), Spurs/London


Big Weekend‘s little brother
Liverpool-Huddersfield Town. The Terriers scored three goals in their opener at Crystal Palace, and have yet to score an away goal since. So Liverpool would seem to be an ideal opponent–except Laurent Depoitre is the sort of classic target man the Reds should be able to handle. The challenge for Huddersfield will be to get enough players forward to complement him. Aaron Mooy plays a bit deeper than most playmakers, but as we saw against Manchester United, he’s capable of springing forward, and if he gets past Liverpool’s midfield (not at all unlikely), he should be very dangerous. The weak spot in the Huddersfield back line is on the left, where Mo Salah operates, so Christopher Schindler, ever ready to move from his spot, may find himself drawn out too frequently. Georginio Wijnaldum is back to full fitness, and his passing skills plus cool head will be valuable when the Terriers press.

Stat: Huddersfield are tied for first in fouls committed. Liverpool are 19th.

Arsenal-Swansea City. Arsenal have turned their 427th corner, which means they’ll probably lose points this weekend. That’s especially because in the Swans’ last four matches at the Emirates, the visitors have scored two wins, a draw, and a loss, and the loss doesn’t count because Bob Bradley was the manager. Swansea’s starting XI need a shake-up, and one player likely to come in is Ki Sung-Yeung, who impressed in the midweek cup match against Manchester United. We could also see Nathan Dyer get his first start since January, with Sead Kolasinac possibly a vulnerable opposite number. Left-back Martin Olsson is injured, so either Kyle Naughton will have to switch over or Sam Clucas fill in. But Clucas was embarrassed by Nordin Amrabat in that spot last season, and Hector Bellerin will fancy his chances against either.

Stat: In the previous three full seasons, under four different managers, Swansea never finished lower than third in percentage of attacks from the right side. So far this year they’re second. Is it in the DNA?

Crystal Palace-West Ham United. The match of the round. We know how United-Spurs will go (except for the result), but if you’ve got even the remotest idea on this one, you’re way ahead of me. West Ham’s nine changes produced an epic comeback at Wembley, so any and all of them could find themselves in the starting XI this weekend. At least Palace’s lineup is predictable: the collapse against Bristol City should rule out all ten of Roy Hodgson’s changes. But performance-wise and even tactics-wise (remember the press against Chelsea?), Palace are no more predictable than West Ham these days. Under normal circumstances, the Hammers’ three-man back line would be vulnerable to Palace’s wingers, but Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend aren’t winging it as much as they did with Christian Benteke in the lineup. If Degsy gets this one right, he should get a baronetcy at least.

Stat: Somehow I just clicked on something that translates Whoscored.com into Italian. It says Crystal Palace are ninth in tiri, but only 19th in tiri in porta.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA


BME managers
Earlier on this week on Irish Radio show Off the Ball, Garth Crooks was on with Steven Bradbury (University of Loughborough), and they were discussing the subject of BME (Black, Minority, Ethnic) managers in English football.

Both were making excellent points, with Bradbury in particular quoting some stark statistics to back up the argument that there are simply not enough BME managers in the game.

He pointed out that since the 60’s, when the first black manager was appointed, there have only been 30 BME managers in any tier of English football. He stated that currently there are only 3 out of 92 managers in the 4 levels of English professional football that fall under this category, and that there have only been 6 since the inception of the Premier League (Gullit, Tigana, Ince, Hughton, Ramsey, and Connor).

And that this works out at a little over 3%, and that this figure holds consistent when looking through other levels with in club football. What he meant here was that if you took the top 6 most important coaching roles in club football (First Team Manager, Asst Manager, U23s, U21’s, U18’s, U16’s), that this figure doesn’t rise above 4-5%. This last stat is the most damning of them all in my view.

Crooks was also making some excellent points about black former pros feeling like they are not getting a look in when it comes to getting not just 1st team jobs, but any coaching jobs, and that they feel like they are wasting their time. He cited Sol Campbell as an example, who is currently in Trinidad doing some defensive coaching work with the national team at his own expense to get some experience, but that was the only work he could get. He spoke about there being a network in football and if you are not in this network, which reading between the lines meant old boys club, meant you stood little to no chance of getting a job.

I was very impressed at the way he spoke, he was passionate and knowledgeable, and was totally at odds with the Team of the Week buffoon we read about every Monday in Mediawatch.

The conversation moved on to the Rooney and it was brought up that since this was put into place, the numbers of Black managers in the NFL is at an all time high, and no-one could really make an argument for it not being put in place in the Premier League.

But Crooks couldn’t help himself. In speaking about the England U21 job, he told a story about how he encouraged Ince to go for the job. Ince thought he had no chance, but went anyway on Crooks’ word. He was up against Aidy Boothroyd, who as we know now got the job.

Crooks’, while careful not to disparage Boothroyd in any way, argued that Ince should have got the job on the basis that he played for Man Utd, Liverpool and Inter Milan, got promoted with MK Dons and won a trophy.

And this to me, totally went against everything he said in the previous 25 mins. It smacked of a jobs for the boys argument for someone getting the job.

Yes, there should be more BME managers and coaches in the game, and yes former players should be encouraged to stay in the game regardless of race or nationality, but this is all provided they are of the required standard.

In arguing that Ince should have gotten the job on the basis of who he’s played for, Crooks’ is veering into the Phil Thompson territory of “whats he know” in relation to Aidy Boothroyd.

Ince was not a good manager. Yes he had some limited success with MK Dons, but that was 10 years ago.

Boothroyd has been working within the England underage set up since 2014 and got the U21s to the semi-finals of the Euros this summer, so it can be argued that this was a good appointment.

I am not sure how to rectify this problem, but the Rooney rule seems as good a place as any to start.

With the influx of foreign owners taking over clubs from the traditional “Jack Walker” local business man done well type owner, maybe we can expect to see some change in this area.

But maybe, and this holds true of all ex-players no matter what race, they should look further a field  to further their knowledge of the game. Try managing in other leagues. Even Sam Allardyce started his managerial career in Limerick here in Ireland.

You need to start somewhere, it doesn’t need to be in the Premier League.

I have no doubt Patrick Viera will be a Premier League manager some day, and he is learning his trade in New York.

It doesn’t need to be the Premier League or Championship.

And all of this is to be encouraged. And to be fair to him, Crooks is as good a man as any to lead this campaign.


Blame Roman, not Jose
Neil. I’m sorry but are young players the Chelsea way

Chelsea have had about a dozen managers in the less than 15 years Roman has been in charge. This encourages short termism and in turn a lack of youth as evidence see the following

Players currently on loan from Chelsea: 427

Young players currently playing regularly for Chelsea: none

Young players who came through the ranks in the premier league era: Captain, leader, pain in the neck

Of the examples you cite, De Bruyne and Lukaku were at Chelsea for close to three years each, mainly on loan before being sold. Salah didn’t set the world alight while at the club getting two goals in close to half a season.

When you weigh the evidence it’s doubtful any of these players would have featured more regularly under any off the other short term managers that Chelsea have employed and in most cases maybe their talent would have been lost somewhere in the loan market


Or don’t…
It’s clearly not Chelsea policy to neglect the youth team. As Conte did show last season, you can find a place for youth academy prospects (chalobah, rlc) and give them some minutes. Of course they’re out on loan now, but ampadu was a joy to watch against Everton.

The concern with Jose is that he’s all about the short term and so sacrifices the future for now. That’s justified for someone on a 3 year contract, but its irritating for the fans. All I’m saying is that a combination of Roman’s trigger fingers and Jose’s short-termism is responsible for the lack of your integration in the Chelsea first team, let’s not absolve him off responsibility.
Sood CFC ( Never thought Drinkwater could be a solution to our lack of positional discipline in midfield ) 



Jose doesn’t get stick for not giving youth a chance at Chelsea, it’s for not giving youth a chance in general.

But if you want to talk about “since Roman Abramovich took over the club” it might be because Jose had 5 years there and in the same time period only one other manager has had 1 year+.

In those 5 years Jose decided he didn’t fancy Lukaku, De Bruyne, Salah & Matic. Both of whom he’s since bought back, one of whom he bought back twice.

Just a thought.
Doug AFC Belfast  


The Harry Kane team
I might be a bit late to all this, but why is this causing so much discussion?

I clearly remember Man Utd being branded a 1 man team when Cantona played.

I remember people were adamant that they could ignore Bergkamp, Pires, Ljunberg, Vieira etc and happily proclaim Arsenal was Thierry Henry on his own.

I specifically remember Man Utd also being referred to as CRFC and yes, plenty of people claimed that Pep Guardiola was only successful because Barcelona were a 1 man team – that man being Messi.

Is it the branding people are taking umbrage with? The actual phrase “  Team Harry Kane “ or whatever it was

I’d understand it annoying Spurs fans, but supporters in general seem to be umbrage to a level that find genuinely surprising.
Doug, AFC, Belfast

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